Whānau Hui

Tēnā tātou katoa,

E whānau whānui o te hapori Putaringamotu tēnā tātou katoa. Ka karanga mai whānau ki Whānau Hui. Me whakapiripriri mai a tātou mā i te maru whakawhaungatanga. Nau mai tauti mai.

All our Māori students and their whānau are warmly invited to a Whānau Hui in the Riccarton High School staff room on Wednesday, the 2nd of May, from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. This will be an opportunity for whānau and Kaiako to meet and to share kai and kōrero.

Mana toroa hui

On Thursday the 1st of March, year 12 and 13 Māori students gathered together for a senior hui.

The purpose of this hui was to encourage students to identify with their Māori culture and to establish the concept of mana (honesty, strength, humility and power) within the school.

The day started off with a survey to gauge how everyone was feeling and this showed that half the students were nervous to be there and that most of the students were still trying to understand what it meant to be Māori.

After a few icebreaker games which helped everyone get more comfortable with each other, the activities relating to Māori identity began.

First was a photo activity where students were split into groups and tasked to take a photo representing their idea of what it means to be Māori.

Some photos showed that Māori culture was being represented and encouraged to an extent in places around us but that more could be done to help students understand what it all means.

Other photos showed that Te Ao Māori (The Māori World) goes beyond a physical representation and that it is something you carry inside yourself.

A little later in the day, Hori Te Ariki came in to speak. His message for us was that we shouldn’t listen to what we can’t do but push for what we can.

He also shared his experiences of designing Māori art to put in public spaces and touched on the idea that it was important to see your culture around you.

This was followed by an activity about the perception of Māori. We talked about how different perspectives meant that everyone viewed people in different ways and that it was easy to have some sort of misguided belief about a group of people if you don’t know or understand them well.

After this, we created lists of both the positive and negative associations there was with being Māori and discussed some ways we could change the negative stereotypes that were there.

At the end of the day, we discussed our next steps. We split into three groups with different areas of focus but all with the same goal. How can we raise mana within our school?

Overall, it was a great day and I think a lot of people got something out of it, whether it be that they realised they shouldn’t be scared to enter the whare or a better understanding of what it means to be Māori.

Hopefully, this will be a building block to a stronger school culture here at Riccarton.

Melanie Aitken (13PL)


What is Matariki?

Each winter the stars of Matariki and Puanga signal the end of one year in Aotearoa and the beginning of the next.

Traditionally Māori have recognised the rise of Matariki as a time to celebrate and prepare for the indigenous New Year. It was a time when crops were harvested, and seafood and birds were collected – a time of celebration and plenty, but also a time for preparing and storing for times of shortage ahead.

Matariki was a time to practise manaakitanga – to share kai and present offerings to others.

Nowadays during Matariki we can express manaakitanga by:

  • Acknowledging the value of healthy kai as a taonga for achieving hauora Māori.
  • Offering healthy kai to whānau and manuhiri.
  • Using koha kai as a way of supporting and nurturing others.

The stars of Matariki

Matariki is the Māori name for a cluster of stars – a seven-star constellation that appears in late May or early June each year.

There are two translations for Matariki – ‘eyes of god’ (mata ariki) or ‘little eyes’ (mata riki). According to legend, when Ranginui (sky father) and Papatūānuku (earth mother) were separated by their children, the god of the winds, Tāwhirimātea, became so angry that he tore out his eyes and threw them into the heavens.